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School Takes Away Students Rosary Beads Because They Are A 'Gang Symbol'

zbacku 2012/09/16 01:37:12
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Loveland school seizes rosary beads from student, says they’re ‘gang symbol’
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LOVELAND, Colo. — A student is questioning whether his faith or his fashion is under fire at his high school in Loveland.

Thompson Valley High School officials have confiscated his rosary beads twice since school started three weeks ago.

And he says they never told him, or his family, why.


“They tell me I can’t wear them,” says Manuel Vigil, showing us an identical rosary to the one seized by his school.

The junior says he wears rosary beads to protect himself from harm.

But his school district thinks the religious necklace will harm students.

“That’s typically not what we want for a safe environment for school,” says Thompson Valley School District spokesperson Margaret Crespo.

The district says they can be affiliated with gangs, and disrupt learning.

“Are you in a gang? I ask Vigil. ‘No. I’m not in a gang,’ he says. You’re a good student? ‘I’m a good student,’” he says.

The 16-year-old says he and his family are strong Catholics.

“I use them for prayer. I feel safe when I have them on.”

The district says it gave Vigil options before seizing the beads.

“We’ve given you two opportunities to take it off or to put it inside your shirt. That’s not something you’re interested in doing. You’re not giving us an alternative than to remove it,” Crespo says Vigil was told.

But Vigil says he only got a demand.

“If he would have given me that option, I would have put it in my shirt,” he says.

Vigil’s classmates agree putting a bad label on a good symbol is wrong.

“If it’s for religious reasons he should be allowed to wear it. We have religious tolerance in this country,” says a freshman student Jack.

“It’s a necklace. Girls wear necklaces all the time and they never get them taken away,” says junior Rachel.

“They can say anything they want is disruptive. Just ‘cause they say it, doesn’t mean it’s true,” says freshman Adam. None of the students wanted to give their last names.

Vigil says how ironic he’s getting in trouble for being a good and faithful person.

“I could see if I was out doing gang activity, but I’ve never been in trouble with the law, never been in trouble at school,” says Vigil.

The bigger problem the district says is Vigil’s rosary had 13 beads per section, instead of the traditional 10.

That 13, they say, can be associated with the Sureno’s gang.

But Vigil didn’t know that.

Plus, on some religious websites we also found several rosaries featuring 13 beads.

His other confiscated rosary, by the way, has 10 beads.

He’s tried to pick them up from the office. But the school says they’ll only give them to a parent and his mom can’t make it during school hours because of work.

Read More: http://kdvr.com/2012/09/14/loveland-school-seizes-...

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  • Michaela★ 2012/09/16 01:54:35 (edited)
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    Michaela★
    +4
    That school is crazy, what ever happened to freedom? I would understand if he was in a gang which they have no proof he is, if he's a good student who has never been in trouble with the law, most likely his rosary beads really are simply an innocent religious thing that helps him rather than a secret gang thing.

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  • Constitution Believer 2012/09/17 17:56:39
  • Marvelous Wildfire 2012/09/16 18:28:57
    The Problem Is That The Student Isn't A Muslim.
    Marvelous Wildfire
    Does the school have an American flag in the building nor on the school grounds?
    The school must be run by a racist hate group!
    Proof: *EVERY* Ku Klux Klan Rally will prominently display an *AMERICAN FLAG*!
  • RobHom 2012/09/16 17:12:34 (edited)
    Care To Comment?
    RobHom
    Folks, I speak as a Catholic...been one for 62 years....and the funny thing is... I have never worn a Rosary around my neck....inside my shirt or outside my shirt. I wore a crucifix and a St. Christopher's medal on a chain...inside my shirt. Wearing a Rosary around my neck was not a part of my religious upbringing.

    BUT, noting that the young man's name is: Manuel Vigil, a hispanic name, its quite possible that it was a part of his religious upbringing.



    There is something "fishy" here.....
  • MOMMA THOMAS 2012/09/16 05:45:24
    Care To Comment?
    MOMMA THOMAS
    WHAT GANG IS THAT? ...DON'T TELL ME JESUS IS THE LEADER'S NAME.
  • marty 2012/09/16 04:02:11
  • sglmom 2012/09/16 03:39:04
    What Do You Think?
    sglmom
    +1
    For crying out loud ..
    this child .. this teen
    never a problem at all ..
    faithfully attending school and active in his faith ..
    let him KEEP and wear the symbol that provides him with a sense of peace ..
    let him wear his Rosary Beads ..
  • Ken 2012/09/16 03:01:50
    The Problem Is That The Student Isn't A Muslim.
    Ken
    This is ridiculous.
  • keeper 2012/09/16 02:32:29
    What Do You Think?
    keeper
    +2
    I think the liberal school better give them back and quit discriminating!
  • Michaela★ 2012/09/16 01:54:35 (edited)
    What Do You Think?
    Michaela★
    +4
    That school is crazy, what ever happened to freedom? I would understand if he was in a gang which they have no proof he is, if he's a good student who has never been in trouble with the law, most likely his rosary beads really are simply an innocent religious thing that helps him rather than a secret gang thing.
  • Leasheryn/Lady Willpower 2012/09/16 01:51:29
    Welcome To The USSA.
    Leasheryn/Lady Willpower
    +2
    Huh?! Say what?!
  • krayzrick 2012/09/16 01:44:48
    What Do You Think?
    krayzrick
    +3
    What do I think? I think it's time to dump all the liberal ding dongs, in Washington and in the school system. Where does this insanity stop??
  • Michaela★ krayzrick 2012/09/16 01:57:36
    Michaela★
    +3
    I could not agree with you more! they got rid of bake sales at my school for health reasons, whatever happened to the freedom of choice? I dont need the government controlling aspects of my life that is none of their bussiness and I dont want to be a part of a school that is crazy liberal.

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2014/09/21 11:48:49

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